Johnny Valdes, the President, was working in the Philippines as an accountant when he went to the United States in 1974 on an employee exchange program with Coopers Lybrand. After living in a Filipino American community for several years, he became aware of the many products and services which were not carried by mainstream marketers. Instead of continuing his career as an accountant, he decided to start his own business.
Between 1980 and 1983, Johnny sold vegetables and food products catering to Filipino-Americans as well as other Asian restaurants and retail shops. He also began to travel back and forth between the Philippines and the United States as frequently as he could afford. During this time, the postal service in the Philippines was not reliable. Packages required several weeks to reach their destinations and many were lost in transit. Consequently he was asked to carry packages for fellow Filipinos on each journey. As time progressed, he found himself carrying so many parcels that he had to charge for the extra weight.
By 1984, with his sister in the Philippines acting as his counterpart, he started the Johnny Air Cargo Corporation and begin to provide air freight service primarily to the Filipino-American community. It was the first on-board carrier and door-to-door service between the Philippines and the United States at the time. The business was initially operated from his residence and had only one employee who was a driver. Due to the large Filipino-American community, of which large segment exists in the nursing industry, business was booming. In 1987, Johnny Air Cargo began to solicit commercial and corporate accounts. One of the crowning glories of his endeavors was in obtaining the accounts of the Philippine General Consulate office and the Philippine Mission to the United Nations. Soon afterwards, Mr. Valdes also began to service major corporations, including some broadcast companies, as well as providing special on-board carrier service for a growing number of express air freight companies.
Established in 1984 by Johnny Valdes, Johnny Air Cargo (JAC) pioneered the industry in providing speedy, reliable delivery of packages between the United States and the Philippines. Who's Johnny?
From Counting Beans to Selling Beans
Johnny Valdes is the fifth son of Carlos J. Valdes of C.J.Valdes & Associates, one of the top accounting firms in the Philippines. Johnny was an accountant for his father's firm when he was assigned to the United States in 1974 as an auditor for Coopers & Lybrand through their employee exchange program.
Although Johnny had the background and training of an accountant, he was always an entrepreneur in spirit. After living in a Filipino-American community for many years, Johnny began to recognize the need for many products and services that were not provided by mainstream marketers in the US. His knack for identifying new opportunities encouraged Johnny to start his own businesses.
Between 1980 and 1983, Johnny sold vegetables and food products catering to Filipino-Americans as well as Asian restaurants and retail shops in the New York metropolitan area.
An Idea That Carries Weight
While residing in the United States, Johnny traveled back to the Philippines frequently. During this time, the postal service in the Philippines was not very efficient and reliable. It took several weeks for packages to reach their destinations and many were lost or damaged in transit. Consequently, Johnny was asked by fellow Filipinos in the United States to deliver packages to their relatives with each trip home. Eventually, Johnny was carrying so many parcels that he had to begin charging for the excess baggage weight.
This gave Johnny the idea to start a Philippine parcel service to meet a need that is unique to the Filipino culture: Filipinos abroad wanting to carry on the tradition of gift-giving or "pasalubong" as a way of sharing their loved ones back home, coupled with a Filipino appetite for fine, imported goods. The need for "padala" works both ways --- Filipinos in the US appreciate the value of Philippine-made clothes and shoes, native foods and native handicrafts.
In 1984, Johnny established Johnny Air Cargo Incorporate (JAC), becoming the first door-to-door courier service between the United States and the Philippines serving Filipino-Americans. The business was initially operated from Johnny's residence in Queens with only one full-time employee and a driver. A rapidly growing Filipino-American community in the New York area--- of which is a sizeable segment is the medical profession enables Johnny's home-grown business to prosper.
Johnny Air Cargo's reputation for fast and efficient service spread quickly by word of mouth. Thus came the need to open more branches in the United States and in other areas all over the Philippines.
In 1987, Johnny Air Cargo began to tap commercial accounts. One of Johnny Valdes' major achievement was landing the accounts of the Philippine General Consulate office and the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in New York. Soon afterwards, Johnny began to acquire other corporate accounts like Gelmart, Inc., Natori Corporation, BPI, Jaguar Phils., and Sari-Sari Store, to just name a few. JAC also began providing special on-board courier service for a growing number of express air freight companies in New York and eventually in Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Commitment to Service and Excellence
Today, the company has a total of 170 regular and part-time employees and 40 service locations worldwide. With its logistical support network and commitment to excellence, Johnny Air Cargo provides the most efficient door-to-door delivery service offered to Filipinos and businesses in the United States, the Philippines and Asia.